Police state comes to small-town Georgia

Big Brother’s Lemonade Squad strikes a blow for Big Government in small town Georgia. 

While most Americans are accustomed to police and government regulators employing heavy-handed tactics to limit and control virtually every facet of our business and personal lives in major cities (especially in California and the northeastern U.S.),  the police state is now reaching its tentacles into small towns and communities everywhere.  A police operation shutting down a young girl’s lemonade stand in the small Georgia coastal town of Midway, confirms there is no place in the country safe from overbearing police tactics lacking common sense.  

Just last week, Midway police shut down a lemonade stand operated by three girls because the youngsters did not have a business license, which would have cost $130 per year plus $50 a day. The girls simply had wanted to raise money so they could go to a local water park.  To accomplish this simple task, they turned to what was – in decades past – a normal way for kids to raise a little spending money and learn a bit about free enterprise at the same time.  No longer.  

As explained by Midway Police Chief Kelly Morningstar, her department had to shut down the lemonade stand, because neither the chief nor apparently anyone in the entire department was “aware of how the lemonade was made, who made the lemonade, [or] what the lemonade was made with.”  

Message to Chief Morningstar:  It’s lemonade, for heaven’s sake! Water, lemons, sugar and ice. Nothing complex; but apparently sufficiently mysterious to cause conniptions within Midway Police Department’s ranks.

Coincidentally, Verizon recently began running a commercial to promote the company’s wireless technology. In the ad, Susie is running a lemonade stand in her front yard; her father hands her a cell phone so she can use the calculator to total her sales. While her dad steps away, she uses his phone to convert her simple lemonade stand into a corporation and divide the neighborhood into sales regions for her friends. 

The commercial is humorous, but clearly the story line is fictitious.  Were the commercial true to life – at least in Midway, Georgia — the moment Susie tried to use her dad’s cell phone to expand her business, the police would swoop in and shut her down.  

The young girls in Midway, Georgia may not have learned much about free enterprise; but they sure received a hard lesson in overbearing and unthinking government.  That’s probably a more relevant lesson for this 21st Century, anyway. 

By Bob Barr – The Barr Code

116 comments Add your comment

Joel Edge

July 20th, 2011
6:03 am

“Message to Chief Morningstar: It’s lemonade, for heaven’s sake! Water, lemons, sugar and ice. ”
Dang, ya took my response. We’ve lost our ability to act with common sense.

Tom Knighton

July 20th, 2011
6:44 am

Common Sense: So rare these days it might as well be classified as a super power. One that the Midway Police Department seems to lack.

Koolaid

July 20th, 2011
7:44 am

So Barr is saying the Midway police must have drank the koolaid when the raided the lemonade stand?

Perhaps the right honorable Mr Barr is unaware that 9000 Americans die every year from food poisoning. And that’s just in the restaurants where the employees are reminded to wash their hands after they go tinkle.

To suggest that these young entreprenurial truants adhere to any food safety standards is spuriously supposititious and presumptuously preposterous. Suspect even.

In a shameless bid to ice his position as Tea Party bagman, Mr Barr has trivialized the GOP platform of squeezing out Sugar-Daddy government, and stirring up a debate long in need of refreshment.

And I think it stinks.

Expand the SEX OFFENDER Registries Today

July 20th, 2011
7:48 am

Hey, we all want nanny governments, don’t we? They can NEVER be too large or do too much.

Along those lines, the criminal nanny governments need to get busy expanding their SEX OFFENDER Registries and the tag-along laws that go with them. ONE of the reasons that the Registries, etc. are immoral today is that we don’t Register all people in the United States who have committed felonies. That simply must be done as a minimum. There is no defensible excuse to have the SEX OFFENDER Registries and not Register everyone else. It is time to at least try to make the Registries a bit more moral and American.

Remember, if it saves one child, it’s worth it. It’s for the children.

Carlosgvv

July 20th, 2011
8:05 am

It is far easier for police to bust young girls for selling lemonade than to enforce immigration laws, protect us against robbers and rapists, and keep our streets safe in general. The easy way out wins every time.

Ricardo Rodriguez

July 20th, 2011
8:13 am

Its our fault that things like this happen, we do not stand up and say that’s enough. We have to stop voting. Down party lines.we have to star learning about the people we vote for and start getting rid of politicians who allow thing like this happen.little by little we are letting the government take our freedoms away while we sit back like good little boys and girls

playthatfunkymusicwhiteboy

July 20th, 2011
8:19 am

I witnessed this first hand when my sweet wife, who is a college graduate – yet a stay at home mom, decided she wanted to do something to help out the family financially a couple years back when my company along with many others started handing out “unpaid” weeklong vacations called furloughs. She is a talented baker and everyone loves the birthday cakes she designed for our boys. She started “selling them” for a tiny profit, to friends and family – she set up a blog site to show off her creations. Well, we got a bill in the mail from the city for us to get a business license. Similar to the above, except it was $200 and then $50 a month. When she called the city their exact response was, “Oh well Earl kind of trolls around on the internet looking for people that are making money in the city and we see if they have a license.” Unreal.

RCH

July 20th, 2011
8:19 am

What a major bust. Alert the media! I hear the girl scouts will be participating in a major crime wave soon. Get ready!

What a waste of taxpayers time and money.

RambleOn84

July 20th, 2011
8:24 am

If you want to know how the police and government get away with this crap, look no further than the post of “Koolaid.”

Because for every person with common sense and human decency, there are at least two mindless dittoheads who believe that people are too stupid and/or deviant to be left to their own devices and the government is our only hope in protecting us from ourselves.

God bless America.

Victoria

July 20th, 2011
8:28 am

If police officers were more intelligent, they wouldn’t be working as police officers.

RambleOn84

July 20th, 2011
8:29 am

To the post at 8:18…blacks have woken up to this? Really? Is that why they are all supporting Obama, who is just Bush with a slight tan?

I can’t disagree with you that there is a group of people who are trying to destroy America and the rest of the world. And most of them happen to be white. But they are supported by people of all colors, and likewise opposed by people of all colors.

Quit playing the race card. It’s the strongest card in the deck for those you claim are trying to destroy us. When we fight among each other, we all lose.

Ezra

July 20th, 2011
8:33 am

Is this not what the progressive liberals want and need? It is a ploy by first getting a law passed and then enforcing it to stymie personal responsibility and independence. Dont blame the office but rather the progressive liberals employed there.

Moderate Line

July 20th, 2011
8:39 am

Is this the best example of a police state you have? Midway GA the town of 1100 people can easily change their laws to correct such an over reach if they desire. If not those who care can come out an participate in the next election for mayor and city council. There is typically no stronger example of direct democracy than small towns. Pehaps your problem is with democracy.

The Republicans use to believe in local government it would seem not so much in this case. Let’s see how the local government reacts before calling Midway, GA a police state which likens it to the Soviet Union, NAZI Germany and Pinochet’s Chile.

It was probably wrong for the police to shut the lemonade stand down but the comparison to a police state trivializes what a police state is.

Watch the documentry Auschwitz. The rhetoric of the comparison is out of line.
http://www.pbs.org/auschwitz/

Victoria

July 20th, 2011
8:48 am

Most of these knuckledraggers posing as “police officers” who tromp in and out of the courthouse where I work are not cerebral enough to comprehend or even know the majority of laws they are supposed to enforce, to say nothing of knowing when NOT to trample on the rights of law-abiding citizens.

Victoria

July 20th, 2011
8:50 am

At the very least, police officers could at least start carrying more of their own weight and start arresting more saggy-pants-wearing, overly tattoo’d THUGZ to make society better for the rest of us instead of terrorizing innocent children with lemonade stands.

JustDamn

July 20th, 2011
8:52 am

Whats next? Are they going to go after all of the teenage boys out cutting the neighbors lawns. Maybe I shouldn’t give them ideas. BTW @Moderate Line… it’s not just happening in Midway, GA. It has been happening all over the country in the past couple of years. We can no longer teach our children personal responsibility. If we take away their ability to earn a few pennies for themselves, we force them to rely on mommy and daddy for hand-outs… sounds like Obamacare to me.

Jefferson

July 20th, 2011
8:57 am

Laws can really be a pain in the butt.

Raisin Toast Fanatic

July 20th, 2011
8:59 am

Perhaps the right honorable Mr Barr is unaware that 9000 Americans die every year from food poisoning.

I knew, yes I absolutely knew, some goober wood defend this bullshyte. And with a touch of drama, I might add.

Congratulations! You are the ninny who needs & wants a “nanny government” just as Neal Boortz has repeatedly pointed out.

Some people have no common sense.

PS: Lemonade is acidic, Mr. Smarty. I would be quite surprised to hear of food poisining from a highly-acidic drink.

stranger in a strange land

July 20th, 2011
8:59 am

GEORGIA GOP – read yours – at least I’m awake now

tar and feathers party

July 20th, 2011
9:02 am

The State gives people with low IQ’s guns and badges, their heads swell, and a dictatorship results. Economic activity is shutting down all across America precisely because of over reaching government laws and rules that give low IQ types disproportionate power over the productive class.

Carlosgvv

July 20th, 2011
9:03 am

Jefferson

Yes, especially laws against robbery, assault, rape, murder and illegal immigration. Our poor police just don’t seem to be able to get a real handle on these. But, laws against little girls selling lemonade get handled pronto.

amy

July 20th, 2011
9:06 am

So Victoria, what are the non cerebral police officers supposed to arrest the saggy pants wearing for? Isn’t that the same as busting a lemonaid stand? Nothing?

Robin

July 20th, 2011
9:07 am

Good Grief. This is beyond stupid. My 6 year old has been wanting to sell lemonade in our front yard. Looks like I will have to tell her she can’t because of local govt idiots.

mike

July 20th, 2011
9:08 am

Funny how this article went into blame the President, race and the liberals for what is happening in hicksville USA. However since this is Georgia, situations like this are hardly out of the norm.

MrLiberty

July 20th, 2011
9:10 am

Moderate Line – If you are waiting for the trains to show up before you recognize that this country has ALREADY become a police state then you are going to be too late to respond. The modern day police state will look exactly like the US does today – cameras everywhere (and not to watch traffic), laws against EVERYTHING, laws passed just for revenue creation, laws against food freedom, laws against vitamin freedom, laws against free speech, prosecutorial misconduct on a widespread basis, laws against medical freedom, etc. This small town is just another example of how the government has gotten beyond out of control.

Bar code for Bloody Mary

July 20th, 2011
9:11 am

You’ve heard the ol’ saying “Rules are Rules”. But here’s another- “Common Sense Should Prevail.”

Abuse of Authority

July 20th, 2011
9:15 am

Police are there to protect the government and enforce THEIR laws. They are no longer there to protect and serve the citizens. Much like the founding fathers deeply feared the presence of a standing army on our country’s soil, today we should all be in fear of the growing militarized police forces that now occupy our cities and states. Rest assured, they are there to protect the government, not the citizens. The supreme court has already ruled several times that there is no mandate to protect individual citizens. A search of news items from around the country would reveal at least one shooting or killing of an unarmed citizen per week with EVERY SINGLE one found to be “fully within the guidelines” of police conduct and no consequences for the officer(s) involved.

This is a direct result of the war on drugs and the massive amount of money it has funneled into the coffers of local and state police primarily through the mechanism of civil asset forfeiture. The involvement of federal militarized authorities from the DEA and others has only made the problem worse.

The so-called war on terror has expanded the problem and given police a virtual free reign when it comes to their unconstitutional and illegal behavior. The Patriot Act has made illegal search and siezure the standard practice of virtually every police officer.

Economic factors that now threaten bloated pension guarantees for police, citizen backlash over the endless killings of innocents and other factors are positioning the miliarized police forces in direct opposition to the public they once claimed they were there to “protect and serve.”

The lemonade stand is just the most obvious example of government gone wrong (not that it can go right) and the strongarm tactics of their hired goons. Serious change better happen soon and police who still respect the rights of citizens above those of the government are going to have to decide which side of the potential conflict they wish to find themselves on.

The Oathkeepers are an evergrowing group of soldiers and police who have made the right choice and are willing to publically say that they will side with the people and the constitution. Americans should be very thankful that there are still folks who can tell the difference between what it right and what is a violation of rights. Sadly too many in government and law enforcement cannot.

Yes, people will need to stand up for what’s right in the face of government behavior, but do not expect the government to yield power freely. They never do.

Tim

July 20th, 2011
9:16 am

Same thing happened up here in Toccoa Bob…our great politicians of Toccoa Georgia tried to charge a guy that runs a produce stand here in one of our local businesses parking lot (to which he pays them rent) but because he didn’t have a “permanent” structure, they charged him (or did until we, the citizens of Toccoa, got wind of this and demanded this to be changed) a $32.00 business license and a $100.00 PER-DAY peddlers fee!!!! Just think they were charging him $100.00 a day just to sell tomatoes and vegetables out of his truck!!!!! Truly NON-SENSE!!! Thankfully everyone stepped up for this guy and finally got it resolved. Just like in this article..stupid politics and truly stupid politician at work.

Here is the article for this story:

http://www.thetoccoarecord.com/articles/2011/07/18/news/top_stories/doc4e1f046cf021a909498867.txt

Obozonomics

July 20th, 2011
9:27 am

GEORGIA GOP REDNECKS LIKES A POLICESTATE

Sorry rednecks don’t like a police state, and most are God fearing people, but from your statements I can tell several things, besides being a bigot, and ignorant one at that. If you believe God is coming back, you better hide, unless you repent you missed the boat, so put the crack pipe down and go read the bible, it is very obvious that you have never opened it.

Dumbestcop

July 20th, 2011
9:36 am

Victoria, I agree with you about focusing on real criminals. No argument there. But to lump all law enforcement as being “knuckledraggers” is presumptuous. I have a PhD. in Criminology and hold a Law Degree having also passed the bar exam. I worked in the private sector as a therapist and lawyer and never found it as fulfilling as working in law enforcement. I’ve returned to law enforcement and enjoy interacting with the public. Most cops I work with are quite intelligent. Don’t show your ignorance with half-sensed statements.

Jack

July 20th, 2011
9:37 am

I’m supprised the goose stepping thugs didn’t raid the lemonade stand with the SWAT team, for their protection, and force the girls to lay face down for a few hours while slurs are thrown at them (ala Eagle Bar raid) or maybe have some drugs planted on them and fabricate evidence (ala kathryn Johnston raid).

smokewagon

July 20th, 2011
9:45 am

GEORGIA GOP REDNECKS LIKES A POLICESTATE

Try decaf

Monroe Burbank

July 20th, 2011
9:48 am

@Obozonomics – you want to see an ignorant bigot, look in the mirror. Is there anything more sickening than these yahoos who drape themselves in God and the bible, while showing contempt and disdain for those who disagree with their opinions?

What is it with conservatives and their constant name-calling?

hd

July 20th, 2011
9:55 am

They are probably authorized to shut it down and investigate under The Patriot Act. Thanks again for that Bob!

Native Atlantan

July 20th, 2011
9:57 am

Is this what keeps you up at night Bob? Seriously?

Exactly As I Thought

July 20th, 2011
9:58 am

Victoria confirmed the very thing I told my wife when we watched this story on the news. The public outcry against the cops would be non-existent had the kids been 10 year-old African-Americans wearing a tank top and baggy shorts (while selling lemonade). Funny how the law (in the view of too many) is supposed to protect some but oppress others, and when the “tables are turned” then outrage ensues. If you’re not willing to accept all unlicensed, corner capitalistic activities in your neighborhood, then you shouldn’t accept any. No mention in the law books about excepting cute little girls selling lemonade. Thus ends the civics lesson.

/

July 20th, 2011
9:59 am

monroe is an uncle tom

Koolaid

July 20th, 2011
10:07 am

The kids selling lemonade on our sidewalks are notorious for using garden hoses to get their water. Garden hoses often have rat feces, pesticides, and itzy-bitzy spiders in them. Suppose a customer was poisoned. The city would be liable for not enforcing the code.

Oh, bitter dregs!

Nick

July 20th, 2011
10:17 am

Hold on, quick question here, since when have we been truly free in this country anyways. Jesus, I get taxed more than I could ever have imagined I would be as a kid, I can’t do pretty much anything that is fun, and even though most of this country seemingly has no problem with marijuana, I still can’t get it with out risking arrest and persecution. Democracy was what I was promised when I was younger, but the older I get the more I realize that this is NOT a democracy that we live in.

Sally

July 20th, 2011
10:17 am

@Koolaid,
What you are describing would be a health department issue at best, not a police issue.

Victoria

July 20th, 2011
10:21 am

Frankly, I would have ZERO problem if the police would use their issued weaponry to treat the saggy-pants THUGZ who spend all day & night “keeping it real” the same way the Orkin Man treats insects, another form of unwelcome home invader, property value diminisher & property-damaging force.

Curtis Rivers

July 20th, 2011
10:26 am

Thanks, Mr. Barr, for taking this to its proper level…the sub-basement of stupidity in policing. I wonder if the Midway police put half as much effort into real police work?

John

July 20th, 2011
10:31 am

@Victoria, Question…
What do the old Buckhead party district, Atlantic Station and Underground Atlanta all have in common?

ByGolly

July 20th, 2011
10:35 am

Koolaid, 9000 Americans die every year. Hmm taking that we have over 300 million americans over 50 states. That doesn’t seem like a lot to me and I think what these so called regulated companies are doing to us is far more worse than a lemonade stand. I am pretty sure that it is much easier for them to buy some powered lemonade, sugar and use the regular faucet to fill up jugs. Then having to go out back finding the water hose and splashing it into a small pitcher.

dumbestcop, so you may know 10 cops that are smart there are thousands that are idiots, power hungry, stupid and criminal in behavior. Sorry, I have absolutely no respect for cops anymore, they cause more harm in our community that gang bangers. Just reading all the shooting over a 2 week period that involves cops, this story shows the low IQ and ignorance cops go on beat. I am to tell you I am terrified when ever I see a cop or get pulled over not sure what kind of injustice will happen and I hope I don’t get shot or tasered just because I put my phone down.

amy

July 20th, 2011
10:35 am

Bless your heart Victoria, you are obviously challenged in some way.

ByGolly

July 20th, 2011
10:36 am

@John obviously you must have been living under a rock as the “Buckhead Party Distrcit” is long gone and it is now a permanent construction site of whatever they have been trying to build for the past 5 years but never finished.

John

July 20th, 2011
10:39 am

@ByGolly,
What part of “old Buckhead party district” where the operative word is OLD did you fail to understand?

Abuse of Authority

July 20th, 2011
10:41 am

Nick – This country was not set up to be a democracy. Democracy is MOB RULE. It was supposed to be a constitutional republic in which citizens would be represented by elected folks who would be restrained by constitutional limits on power. In that way the majority would not be able to violate the rights of the minority by vote or otherwise. Those on the Anti-Federalist side argued quite prophetically that a piece of paper would not constrain the politicians and that a powerful central government of any sort was not what the american citizens needed. How right they were.

And as for prior freedom, before about 1900 virtually nobody in this country had any interaction with the Federal Government aside from the postal service. Then, thanks to the Progressive movement we ended up with the Income Tax, the Federal Reserve (which destroys the value of our money), the direct election of senators (thus giving lobbiests even more power), prohibition (at least they recognized that a constitutional amendment was required – unlike the unconstitutional war on drugs), the current limit of congressional representation to 435 (which now means that each US Representative “represents” nearly 750,000 people versus 30,000 when the country was founded), and other acts that expanded the power of the feds.

Keep in mind, the lies you were fed when you were a child likely came out of a government-approved textbook and were fed to you by a government-paid employee at a government-run school. But of course, no matter how old you are, things have gotten a whole lot worse since you were a kid. The war on drugs and the war on terror have both been used as a war on freedom and liberty and the people keep buying into the fear mongering and thus allow these abuses.

Yes, this is how Nazi Germany, Stalin’s USSR, Mao’s China, and other totalitarian regimes began and were enabled by the distracted and gullible populace.

Bacchus

July 20th, 2011
10:44 am

And don’t even think to grow your own vegetables in your front yard. Unless you want to be fined or jailed. America – eff yeah.

indigo

July 20th, 2011
10:45 am

Agree completely that the kids should have their lemonade stand. But I don’t blame the enforcement officers. Believe instead local ordinance should be changed to formally allow for this type of activity.
Can that be so difficult?

The whole issue of business license should be reviewed. It’s not really for public safety. It’s just a revenue raising measure. Some fees quoted above seem way too much. But if we reduce this revenue for local governments, will it have to come from somewhere else? Or cut back on services. Would citizens, for example, be willing to do with greatly reduced food inspections- the bad ones now are published in the AJC- or is that a government regulation we want to keep?